Reporter's Notebook

Would You Take a Magic Pill to Cure Your Stutter?
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Below is our reader discussion sparked by the question posed by Jillian Kumagai, a lifelong stutterer, after reading Emma Alpern’s dispatch from the National Stuttering Association’s annual conference. Send your own story to

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Would You Take a Magic Pill to End Your Stutter? Cont'd

A reader, Samuel Dunsiger, revives the series sparked by Jillian’s story:

About four years ago, I was interviewing for a PR internship at a non-profit organization. I disclosed the fact that I stutter—which is something I normally do at interviews. But this time, the employer’s reaction shocked me.

“I actually stutter too,” he said.

When only one percent of the world’s population stutters, the odds of sitting across the table from someone who also stutters are incredulous (unless you’re at a National Stuttering Association conference). The interview turned into a 40-minute conversation about stuttering. Later that afternoon, he emailed me. I got the internship.

I asked myself that famous magic pill question and talked about it with others many times. Stutterers, like those with other disorders, are splintered into many ‘camps.’

Here’s a new email on an old thread, from reader Alyssa Epstein:

I can recall the exact moment in time when I realized I was different from everyone else, but most particularly (and importantly) from my classmates. My fifth class was sitting in a circle taking turns reading from a book, and as the book was passed to me and I read my passage, something strange had occurred. I knew what I wanted to say, and I could feel myself trying to form the words, but instead, every word came out in a spitfire struggle.